Totally or Totalitarian? –

July 16, 2018 – The top Massachusetts court unanimously ruled on Monday that a judge can require defendants with substance use disorders to remain drug-free as a condition of probation and send them to jail if they relapse. The case, which challenged a requirement routinely imposed by judges across the country, had been closely watched by prosecutors, drug courts and addiction medicine specialists. For many, it represented a debate over the nature of addiction itself. The defense argued that addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that compromises an individual’s ability to abstain. The prosecution maintained that addiction varies in intensity and that that many individuals have the ability to overcome it and can be influenced by institutional penalties and rewards, like incarceration or a cleared criminal record.

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